July 23, Nuwara Eliya: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Monday convened a meeting to discuss the development goals for the country's tea plantation district of Nuwara Eliya.
Participating in the Nuwara Eliya District Committee meeting which was organized by the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat, the President discussed the problems in the areas of roads, electricity, minor irrigation, drinking water, natural disasters and the health problems in the estate sector while focusing the attention on the Divi Neguma and Gama Neguma development programs.
Among the instructions given for the education sector were to develop schools with less than 50 students in the District as popular primary schools and to launch a programme to fill vacancies of English, Math and Science teachers.
Provincial education authorities have informed the President that the recruitment of teachers from the region has already commenced.
The participants have discussed expanding the programme of providing a fresh glass of milk to school children.
The District Committee meeting also focused on a project to implement a housing scheme for 12,917 landless families after identifying suitable lands within the District.
The discussion has focused on upgrading the Nuwara Eliya Hospital as a National Hospital and the President has advises the authorities to expand the Outpatient Department of the Hospital and further enhance facilities provided to patients.
The President inter alia addressed the issue of proper garbage disposal, a programme to improve the tourism industry in the area while paying attention to the environment, and reconstruction of the 26 kilometer rail track from Nanu Oya to Ragala, operation of which was suspended in 1951.
During the discussion, the issue of halting constructions of Nuwara Eliya Sports Stadium due to changes in the Sports Ministerial Portfolio has come to light and the president has sternly advised that the projects launched should be implemented as it is, even though changes are effected to ministerial portfolios and called on the officials to immediately resume work.
He has instructed officials not to halfway halt development projects that have been launched on policy and streamlined plans. He told them that it is their obligation to fulfill the responsibilities vested in the Ministries on behalf of the people.
Ministers and parliamentarians of the district with the Ministry officials and the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga were present at the meeting.
(Photos by Chandana Perera)